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Temple and Tribal Tour of Orissa

Kolkata Victoria Memorial  Puri Rath YatraSun Temple, Orissa

Duration: 15 Nights / 16 Days
Routing: Kolkata – Bhubaneshwer – Konark – Puri – Gopalpur – Rayagada – Jeypore – Vishakhapatnam – Kolkata


Tour Highlights

KOLKATA: Victoria Memorial, Howrah Bridge, Dalhousie Square, Fort Williams, Secretariat Building, Old Court House Street and Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity

BHUBANESHWAR: Lingaraja Temple, Mukteswara Temple, Parsurameswara Temple
KONARK: Sun Temple

PURI & GOPALPUR ON SEA: Beaches

RAIGADA/JAYORE: Tribal Villages, Tribal Markets, Tribal Dresses, Ornaments and way of life


Detailed itinerary


Day 01 Arrive Kolkata
Arrive at Kolkata and you'd be met by our representative. After a traditional 'Swagat' (Welcome), we will assist you with your transfer & check-in to the hotel.
Overnight at hotel - Kolkata (B)


Day 02 Kolkata
Today we go for a city tour of Kolkata. In this 'City of Joy' we visit the Jain Temple, Zoological Gardens, Victoria Memorial & drive past Howrah Bridge, Dalhousie Square, Fort Williams, Secretariat Building and Old Court House Street. We also visit Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity which is an interesting experience.
Overnight at hotel. (B)

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Day 03 Kolkata – Bhubaneshwar (Flight)
Today we transfer you to the airport to board your flight for Bhubaneshwar. Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa, is also popularly known as the 'Temple City of India'. Being the seat of Tribhubaneswar or 'Lord Lingaraj', Bhubaneswar is an important Hindu pilgrimage centre. Bhubaneswar is the place where temple building activities of Orissan style flowered from its very inception to its fullest culmination extending over a period of over 1,000 years. The new Bhubaneshwar with its modern buildings and extensive infrastructure perfectly compliments its historic surroundings.
Overnight at hotel - Bhubaneshwar (B)


Day 04 Bhubaneshwar
After breakfast, we leave for a city tour. Bhubaneswar has some stunning temples clustered around the Bindusagar Tank. Of the original 7000 only 500 remain dating from the 7th century to the 11th century. Of these the most outstanding is the 11th century Lingaraja Temple which represents the peak of Orissa art and the late 10th century and beautifully decorated Mukteswara Temple which belongs to the end of the phase of temple building. Close to the Mukteswara Temple is the Parsurameswara Temple, a small but richly decorated shrine of Shiva that was built in the 7th century. It is one of the best preserved. It has sculptures featuring amorous couples, animals and floral motifs.
Evening we visit Lord Shiva's Temples, Lingraj and Parusurameshwara.
Overnight at hotel - Bhubaneshwar (B)


Day 05 Bhubaneshwar – Konark – Puri (56 Km / 1½ Hrs)
Breakfast. Today we drive to Puri, en-route visiting Dhauli and Pipli villages.
Dhauli is where Mauryan Emperor Ashoka the Great, renounced bloody warfare and embraced the teachings of Buddha after victory over kingdom of Kalinga. We visit the Peace Pagoda known as the Shanti Stupa built in early 1970 by Japanese. We also stop at two ancient rock edicts, today eclipsed by the presence of the Pagoda. Dating from 260 BC they outline Ashoka's detailed instructions to his administrators to rule with gentleness and fairness. The sculpted elephant atop the edict signifies the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka's conversion to Buddhism after his Kalinga victory. Our next stop is the colorful village of Pipli where we can see Orissan Handicrafts, the specialty is applique work.

Afternoon drive to Konark. In Konark, visit to the Temple - Chariot of The Sun God, built by King Langula Narasimha Deva in the thirteenth century A.D. in the golden era of Orissan art. This crowning piece of Orissan architecture and sculpture is sheer poetry in stone. Everyday the Sun rises from the lap of the blue ocean close by and casts its first gentle rays on the sanctum sanatorium and then circles the temple during the course of the day, illuminating the three magnificent images of the morning Sun, the mid-day sun and the setting sun. Later we drive to Puri. Overnight at hotel (B)

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Day 06 Puri
Puri is one of the four most important pilgrimage points for Hindus. Today in the morning we visit the Jagannath Temple of Puri. The temple of Lord Jagannath (God Vishnu), who is considered the preserver of the world in Hinduism, attracts thousands on feast every day, particularly at the time of 'Rath Yatra' (the car festival). The Jagannath temple is also referred as the white Pagoda and it accommodates 5000 priests in its premises. It's an experience to observe the activities of the pilgrims visiting this unique temple. It is one of the most sacred temples in India. Towards afternoon we visit Puri beach. It is also known as one of India's finest beaches and it attracts millions of travelers to India with its strategic setting and religious importance.
Overnight at hotel - Puri (B)


Day 07 Puri – Gopalpur (200 Km / 5 Hrs)
After breakfast we drive to Gopalpur en route visiting Chilika Lake, famous for bird sanctuary. The drive to Chilika Lake takes us through scenic countryside and attractive villages. Chilika lies in the heart of coastal Orissa. The pear-shaped lake is dotted with small islands and has an impressive array of bird life, both native and migrant. White bellied sea eagles, greylag geese, herons and flamingos are among the many species which make the lake a bird watcher's delight. Chilika, in fact, is home to one of the world's largest breeding colonies of flamingos. Other than the birds, Chilika's shores are home to black buck, spotted deer, golden jackals and hyenas, and the lake is rich in aquatic life. Its waters harbour around 160 species of fish, crustaceans and other marine creatures, including the famous Chilika dolphin. Fishing is an important source of livelihood for the local people and hundreds of small fishing boats set sail each morning to bring in the day's catch from the lake.

Afterwards we drive to Gopalpur on Sea, an ancient sea port. Sand dunes, groves of coconut palm and casuarinas separate the small town from the beach. Upon arrival check-in hotel.
Overnight at hotel - Gopalpur (B, L, D)


Day 08 Gopalpur – Rayagada (210 Km / 5 Hrs)
Morning at leisure. In the afternoon we drive to Rayagada and reach there in the evening. We are now in the tribal belt of Orissa. Orissa has the third highest concentration of tribals in India and because of the remoteness of the areas where they live, the tribes are untouched by modern times.

Each has a distinct language and pattern of social and religious customs. Though economically challenged with a very low rate of literacy, the tribal groups have a highly developed sense for body paintings, ornaments, weaving and wall paintings. Music and dance are also an integral part of their ceremonies and seasonal festivals.
Overnight at hotel - Rayagada (B, L, D)

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Day 09 Rayagada – Excursion to Saora (45 Km / 1 Hr)
Today we visit the Saora tribal villages. We visit the villages of the Langia Saoras, a major tribe who live in hilly areas. In contrast to other tribes who live in clans, the Saoras live in extended families descended from a common ancestor. The village is administered by a headman who is assisted by a religious leader and village shamans, or medicine men, which are able to communicate with deceased ancestors. The walls of the mud houses are decorated with remarkable paintings and traditional designs known as IKONS.

Saora are one of the oldest known tribes of Orissa. They are doing shifting cultivation. The ceremonies and festivals of the Saoras are the occasions when the social bonds are cemented. The Saoras also practice both sorority and levirate forms of marriage, i.e a man can marry his deceased wife's younger sister and woman can marry her deceased husband's younger brother. Later you can explore the tribal markets (Markets open on Mondays only).
Overnight at hotel - Rayagada (B, L, D)


Day 10 Rayagada – Excursion to Kothgarh (100 Km / 3 Hrs)
Today's excursion would be to Kothgarh tribal area to visit Kutia Kondh tribes. Many of them speak Kuvi, a language derived from the Dravidian strain of Southern India. Human sacrifice has now been replaced with animal sacrifice, offering the blood to their supreme goddess represented by a piece of wood or stone to ensure fertility of the soil. The members of this tribe still use bows and arrows to protect themselves from wild animals. (Markets open on Tuesdays only). Return to Rayagada in the evening.
Overnight at hotel - Rayagada (B, L, D)


Day 11 Rayagada – Chatikona - Jeypore (240 Km / 7 Hrs)
Today morning we drive towards Jeypore. En route at Chatikona, we visit a few Dongariya Kondh villages. Dongariya Kondh is a very primitive tribe. They live on the top of the mountain and do shifting cultivation.

Jeypore, the commercial nerve centre of Koraput district, endowed with falls and forests thronged with colorful wildlife has all such facilities to serve as the convenient base for visiting the places of interest in and around. (Markets open on Wednesdays only).
Overnight at hotel - Jeypore (B, L, D)


Day 12 Jeypore – Excursion to Onukudelli (180 Km / 4½ Hrs)
After breakfast we drive and visit the home of the approximately 6000 members of the fierce Bondas (naked people) of Tibetan-Burmese origin. They live in the remote hills and keep themselves isolated. They grow rice by shifting cultivation and keep domesticated cows and goats. They can only be seen when they come to trade at the local weekly market. The Bonda women are noticeable by their bead necklaces, striking brass and silver neck lets and their shaved heads decorated with plaits of palmyra leaves. We will also visit the colorful Godabas, a Munda tribe who speak in the Austro-Asiatic dialect called Remo.

The Gadabas are one of the very primitive and colourful tribes of Orissa. They build their houses in two rows facing each other with a broad way left between them. The economic life of the Gadabas mainly center on agriculture. (Markets open on Thursdays only). Return to Jeypore in the evening.
Overnight at hotel - Jeypore (B, L, D)

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Day 13 Jeypore – Excursion to Kunduli (130 Km / 4½ Hrs)
Today after breakfast drive to Kunduli, via Sunabeda, to visit the tribal villages of Paroja and Mali. The weekly market is among the biggest and most colourful in the region. The Parojas are one of the well-known major tribes of Orissa. They are broadly divided into two sections, Bada Paroja & Sana Paroja. Men usually wear lion cloths, napkins and women wear coarse and cheap sarees. (Markets open on Fridays only)
Overnight at hotel - Jeypore (B, L, D)


Day 14 Jeypore – Gupteswar – Vishakhapatnam (225 Km / 7 Hrs)
Drive to Gupteswar to visit the Dhuruba tribal village. They are one of the oldest tribes of Orissa and found in Koraput district of Orissa. As regards the family, the father acts as the head and manages the family. The income of the family members goes to the headman and it is the head man's duty to fulfill the needs of the family members. Both nuclear and joint families are found among the Dhurubas. We can also visit the caves which were believed to have been the refuge of Lord Rama during his days in exile and the place he worshiped God Shiva. (Markets open on Saturdays only). Later we carry on for Vishakhapatnam. Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Overnight at hotel - Vishakhapatnam (B)


Day 15 Vishakhapatnam – Kolkata (Flight)
Visit Simanchalam Temple near Vishakhapatnam. It is one of the most important Vaishnavite shrines of South India. It has Sri Varahalakshmi Narasimha Swamy as the presiding deity. Eastern Ganga King Narasimha built the central shrine in 1267 A.D. With more than 252 inscriptions describing the antecedents of the temple, it is historically important. The deity at Simhachalam, the lion-man incarnation of Lord Mahavishnu appears like a Sivalinga when covered with sandalwood paste. The original shape of the deity in the tribhanga posture has two hands with the head of a lion on a human torso.

In the evening transfer to the airport to board the flight for Kolkata. Arrive and transfer to the hotel.


Day 16 Depart Kolkata

Our tour concludes: India Holiday Trip assists you with a punctual transfer to the airport for your onward flight, thanks you for your patronage and looks forward to serving you again in the near future.

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